Tour of Abandoned 19th Century Buildings

Today was a unique experience you’d be hard pressed to find the opportunity to do in CDMX. I was contacted by a developer who works with historical buildings around El Centro in Ciudad de Mexico. They have several buildings which are currently slated to be rehabilitated, but due to the historic nature of the buildings it will take lots of time to get through the process. They would like artists to inhabit the buildings to use them for studios, expositions, and creative endeavors.

I left my apartment at 9AM and scurried through the hot streets. Even at 9AM I knew today would be like the entire week. Baking. I stopped to buy my host a rol de canella and a tea for myself. I am eternally surprised by how quickly gentrification moves in this city. The zone sandwiched between Chapultepec and Reforma is known to be part of Roma, but in past years it was nearly forgotten. When I got to Milan 44 I was surprised to see an Ojo de Agua restaurant there. Polanco. Check. Condessa. Check. This part of Roma? Check please. It had changed a lot since I lived over there. My apartment had been robbed a few times in that zone. I was familiar with it, but not in it’s current status.

We went to two different buildings. Both are near Ciuadela – the crafts market. Each with distinct character, but the first being the most usable spaces. We toured through the retail spaces at the front and up into the above stories where residential will be developed.  All the spaces are raw. Some are in better shape than others will complete walls and floors. One had running water. None had a bathroom functional. Raw space. Lots of character. Lots of potential. The question in how much work and money would it cost me to get it functional and secure? I can imagine my paintings in these spaces. It feels custom made to do a show in. I’d not be able to work directly on the walls as I do now. Would need to work on a piece of wood leaned on the wall or table. There appears to be electricity but inconsistent space to space. That would definitely need to be resolved.

My mind spins with the possibilities, but I am also preocupado with the amount of labor and potential expenditures. I am attaching a gallery of some of the images to view for all to see. These images are not the specific work spaces but those surrounding it. Sorry the light was horrible so it wasn’t possible. These are much more dramatic than the space I would work in.